Calgary

12 Calgary acts worth a listen — before everyone jumps on the band wagon

Canada's National Music Centre, set to open in Calgary at the end of March, is expected to shine a light on the city's musicians. In no particular order, here are a dozen acts with a Calgary connection that are well worth listening to before everyone else does.

Calgary musicians can rock, rap and croon with the best of them

Calgary post-punk outfit Viet Cong was on the short list for the Polaris prize this year.

This story was originally published Dec. 12.

Canada's National Music Centre, set to open in Calgary at the end of March, is expected to shine a light on the city's musicians. A city's music scene is part of its soul — how it expresses itself, and shapes its unique cultural identity. In no particular order, here are a dozen acts with a Calgary connection that are well worth listening to before everyone else does:

1) Chad VanGaalen

Calgary indie rocker has been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize not once but twice.

2) Reuben and the Dark 

Five-piece alternative rock outfit signed to Toronto's Arts & Crafts label.

3) HighKicks

Fuzz bass duo fronted by the prolific Dan Vacon of The Dudes.

4) Samantha Savage Smith

A talented singer-songwriter with bite.

5) Lowell

Currently based in Toronto, the pop singer was born and raised in Calgary.

6) Jocelyn Alice

Armed with an unforgettable voice, Alice was the face of a recent tourism Calgary video.

7) Napalmpom 

A terrific rock band with swagger to spare.

8) Tim Hus

Calgary-based country singer opened for Stompin' Tom on a cross-Canada tour.

9) Chrongoblin

The name really says it all.

10) A.Y.E.

Silky smooth Calgary MC.

11) Rae Spoon

Transgendered musician that walks the line between pop and country.

12) Viet Cong

Local post-punk outfit that ran into some trouble over their controversial name.


Calgary at a Crossroads is CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads, including:

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